Finimize - 🤯 Britain abandons Covid restrictions

Europe's breaking a sweat | Oil is big business again |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for February 22nd in 3:00 minutes.

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Today's big stories

  1. Eurozone business activity has been at its highest in five months in February
  2. It's coming up to payday, so here are four investing ideas from four top wealth managers – Read Now
  3. Saudi Aramco’s shares hit an all-time high on Monday

Honest Work

Honest Work

What’s Going On Here?

New survey data out on Monday showed eurozone business activity hit a five-month high in February.

What Does This Mean?

These surveys ask Europe’s business managers how busy they’ve been each month, and the first one of this year – which came hot on the heels of the post-Omicron panic in January – was a bracing read. But February’s data suggests that any dropoff in activity was just a temporary setback. Business activity in the services industry, after all, rebounded as Europeans went straight back to their favorite theaters, bars, and tourist traps. And activity in the manufacturing industry suggests that supply chain bottlenecks are finally loosening up, which means those companies are finally able to start closing the gap on demand.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Will Europe change its tune?
These companies also admitted to what we already knew: that they’re passing costs from steeper wages or higher energy bills onto their customers. In fact, the average price that companies are charging for their products or services jumped by the most since the survey started (tweet this). Those higher consumer prices could play a part in sending European inflation to another record high this month, which could – some traders are betting – force the European Central Bank to raise interest rates sooner than planned.

Zooming out: Britain is the litmus test.
British companies have been busy too, with a UK survey showing business activity hitting an eight-month high in February. The government is now feeling so confident, in fact, that it’s ready to shrug off every last Covid restriction: mask-wearing, testing, self-isolating – you name it. So all eyes will now be on the country to see whether it really can live alongside the virus, or whether it’ll come to regret its typically stiff upper lip.

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Analyst Take

Four Post-Payday Investing Ideas

Four Post-Payday Investing Ideas
Photo of Carl Hazeley

Carl Hazeley, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

So you’ve just been paid, you’ve covered your rent and bills, and you have some cash left over.

With inflation so high, you’re probably better off investing that money somewhere. But with valuations so high, the million dollar question is where.

Enter Bloomberg, which has been chatting to four top wealth managers to find out where they recommend investing $100,000 this year.

Except here’s the thing: you don’t need $100,000 to replicate their plays.

So that’s today’s Insight: four ideas from top wealth managers, and how to take advantage.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Ker-ching

Ker-ching

What’s Going On Here?

Saudi Aramco’s stock hit an all-time high on Monday, as the world’s biggest oil company gets back to its winning ways.

What Does This Mean?

Aramco broke records when it listed its shares on the stock market in late 2019, only for the pandemic to promptly send demand for oil – and the company’s share price – plummeting. But good things come to those who wait: the oil price has risen more than 80% since the start of last year, and Aramco’s share price has climbed with it. So when the company said on Monday that it’s expecting demand for the slippery stuff to hang around, its stock reached a whole new all-time high. That’s something the Saudi government – which owns the majority of Aramco’s shares – wants to capitalize on: Bloomberg reports that it’s planning to sell some of its shares in hopes of raising even more money than it did from Aramco’s gargantuan initial public offering.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: Here comes $100 oil.
The problem here is that the oil supply can’t keep up with demand. Energy producers were, after all, cutting back on oil projects even before the pandemic, as governments and investors pushed for lower emissions. And when the pandemic arrived, those companies scaled back production even more. That might be why commodities trader Vitol said on Monday it’s expecting oil – which currently costs $92 a barrel – to sit above $100 for a lot of this year.

For you personally: Feel positive about energy.
It might be a good time to be an oil investor: Bernstein Research reckons the seven energy “supermajors” – including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron – will deliver $38 billion to shareholders this year through share buybacks. That’s almost double 2014’s $21 billion – the last time oil traded above $100 a barrel – and could make now a lucrative time to buy in.

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💬 Quote of the day

“If you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.”

– Cher (an American singer, actress, and television personality)
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About that trillion-dollar opportunity…

The experts are already catching on to The Motley Fool’s potential trillion-dollar market.

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🌎 Finimize Live

🎉 What’s on this week…

🎉 How To Pick A Stock Market Winner: 6pm UK time, February 22nd
🎨 Getting Started With NFTs: 5pm UK time, February 23rd
🌿 Getting To Grips With ESG Investing: 6pm UK time, February 24th
🏡 Your Guide To Opportunity Zones: 5pm UK time, February 25th
🙌 Setting Your Crypto Strategy Up For Wealth Creation: 6pm UK time, 28th February
🎨 How NFTs Are Resculpting The Art Industry: 5pm UK time, March 1st
🖼 How To Diversify Your Portfolio With NFTs: 5pm UK time, March 2nd
🤔 How Regulation Could Impact Your Crypto: 6pm UK time, March 3rd
🌟 How To Pick A Metaverse Winner: 7pm UK time, March 4th
🚀 Everything You Need To Know About The Metaverse: 6pm UK time, March 8th
🧐 How To Value NFTs: 5pm UK time, March 9th
🥊 The Art Of Beating The Market: 6pm UK time, March 14th
🌲 How To Analyze Sustainable ETFs: 6pm UK time, March 15th
👩‍🎨 NFT Investing Strategies Tailored To You: 5pm UK Time, March 16th
🍀 How To Pick The Best ESG Stocks: 6pm UK time, March 28th

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